Friday, September 18, 2015


I have a really delicious recipe for you today! My friend, Nita made this for me years ago when I was at her house for dinner. I was obsessed with it, but she is a gourmet cook so I was a little hesitant. I got the recipe from her that day but never made it! She has made it a few more times over the years and each time she makes it I think how I have to try making it myself. Let me tell you, it was so easy!
The recipe is from Ina Garten. The link and even a video how to is located here in case you want to check that out. I left the capers out in mine because, capers? come on....that's way too fancy. And instead of champagne vingear which was $10/bottle I used white wine vinegar. tasted the same. Give it a try- It's so good!
Note: When I make it again I will brown the bread cubes a little longer because they got soggy really fast. 

by Ina Garten
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Red & White Pasta

My friend, Nita made this for me and my family when I sick a few months ago. It was so delicious! 
I had to share!

Ruby's Red & White Pasta
1/2 cup butter
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb Penne pasta
1 jar spaghetti sauce
shredded mozzarella
Start cooking pasta. In seperate pan, melt butter on medium/low heat
 when melted, add cream cheese and garlic powder. whisk together, stir in cream and bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer, stirring often . Simmer 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese. 
 Drain Pasta and spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce into 9x13 pan. Mix white Alfredo sauce with drained pasta. Put in dish on top of spaghetti sauce. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce over pasta. Sprinkle Mozzarella, the spaghetti sauce again and then more mozzarella.
 Bake at 350 degrees, covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is fully melted and cheese is bubbly. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

So Long Summer-Street Tacos

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We managed to slip in a quick trip to So. Cal before school started up again.  There is nothing so wonderful as sun, sand and surf!  We experienced it all!

Growing up at our house my mom used to have Taco Night.  We all looked forward to taco night because we all loved our mom's tacos.  My sister, Carri has taken that recipe, added a little Southern California flair and come up with her version of Street Tacos!  

After a day at the beach Carri treated us to these savory, crunchy, Cali fresh tacos.

Carri's Street Tacos
1 doz corn tortillas
1 lb. seasoned meat (hamburger, chicken, fish)
vegetable oil (for frying)
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
sour cream

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan till hot.  Spoon seasoned meat into tortilla shell.  Carefully lay one side of tortilla in hot oil till desired crisp, then flip to other side.  Make sure you are allowing the shell only in the oil.  Place on a paper towel plate to soak up some of the oil.  Continue this process until tortilla shells and meat are combined.

Let cool slightly, then add your favorite toppings.

(Carri seasons her fish with Teriyaki sauce)

So Long Summer!

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hi Friends! I was getting a little treat ready for some ladies I visit teach and thought I would share this yummy recipe we got long ago from one of Kellie's friends. Its the best banana bread I think there is! For those of you who are not LDS, Visiting Teaching is something that the women of our church do every month. We are assigned a few ladies in our wards to go and visit and to fellowship and help them where we can. Sometimes that is being a listening ear, a meal to fix, a baby to watch or a house to clean. Visiting teaching is a wonderful way to serve others.

 Banana Bread
2/3 cup Shortening
1 cup sugar
Mix and add 4 eggs
Mix and add 1 cup flour
Mix and add 2 cups blended banana
Mix and add 1 cup flour
Mix and add 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt
Mix and add 1 cup flour
Mix and add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 cup flour
Mix and add 1 bag milk chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes loaf pans or 22 minutes muffin tins

I found the August 2015 Visiting Teaching Message already made cute on this blog. I just printed it and attached it to the bread. I wrapped the bread in saran wrap and tied a piece of 2x12 scrapbook paper around the loaf. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Primary Pioneer Singing Time Trek

We’re going on a Pioneer Trek-Singing Time Style! 

Our Primary's Sacrament meeting program is scheduled for late September this year with a long list of songs to sing.  I thought it might be fun to plan an activity that would allow for lots of review time.  But in a fun and interactive way.

We started the activity by choosing two "Trail Bosses" to organize the Trail Map on the blackboard. I used Camille's map in several puzzle pieces and asked the trail bosses to organize and then call out WAGONS HO!

As we reviewed our program songs our covered wagon moved along the trail.

"We need to reach Salt Lake before the end of singing time...for some must push and some must pull!"

I explained that I had a wooden box filled with things that pioneer children loved.  If we could get to the end of the trail before singing time was done we would find out what was in the box.  The incentive worked wonderfully!

Our pioneer trail had some pretty important places on it.  We stopped briefly to learn just a bit about them before we moved on.  At each stop we sang one of our program songs.

#1. Challenges in Missouri HERE
#2.  Exploring Nauvoo HERE
#3. The Nauvoo Temple & Carthage Jail HERE
#4.  Waiting in Winter Quarters HERE
#5.  Martin's Cove HERE
#6.  This is the Place HERE
(The links are on Camille's website)

"Listen closely because you just might need to know something important at the end of the trail to receive an authentic (or not) piece of Pioneer candy."  

We talked about how important it must have been for Pioneer children to play games at the end of their long day of walking.

As EVERY CHILD sang the review songs the Hooey Stick's propeller would get faster and faster.  When we were singing a reverent review song we had to sing so softly that we could hear the buzz saw buzz!

We arrived safely and on time with most of our songs having been reviewed.  And we had fun along the way.  

Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked...and walked!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

De-Constructed Trifle

I love Trifle.  
This is a very simple way to include all the trifle ingredients without all the trifle work.

Buy (or bake) pound cake and/or angel food cake.  Wash and cut blueberries and strawberries, or whatever fruit you love.

Add a little dollop of your favorite whipped cream creation.
(My whipped cream recipe below)

Same taste, a little different look and you have a tasty trifle.
I also found that my guests liked the trifle bar of choices.  

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl with mixer on low speed until smooth.  Beat in whipping cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form.  

Can use as trifle topping or spread on a brownie or shortbread to make a great fruit pizza.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jen's Limeade

Jen’s Limeade

1 can Limeade concentrate
2-2 liter bottles of Sprite
Lots of pebble ice
Slices of Lime

Mix limeade per directions on can.  Right before serving add Sprite, pebble ice and lime slices.

Enjoy a cool, refreshing drink!

Recipe can also be doubled and served from a beverage dispenser.  Just remember to add ice right before serving.

And don't you love the frosty glass made from a squat mason jar and a dollar store candle stick holder!